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WBB Game Day Central: Gardner-Webb
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Big South Network
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Broadcast - Tip-Off:
4:06 p.m. vs. Gardner-Webb
The Light (90.9 FM WWMC)
Liberty (18-8, 13-2 Big South) will begin its final three-game homestand of the season Saturday at 4 p.m., when Gardner-Webb (3-22, 2-12 Big South) visits the Vines Center. The Lady Flames will celebrate Senior Day prior to tipoff and have a chance to clinch the Big South regular-season championship with a victory over the Runnin' Bulldogs.
The "Starting Five" - Today's Top Storylines
1) Saturday will be Senior Day at the Vines Center, and the duo of Danika Dale and Avery Warley will be recognized prior to tipoff. Dale and Warley have helped the Lady Flames post a 91-34 record in the past four seasons, totaling 1,834 points and 1,565 rebounds between themselves.
2) Liberty enters Saturday's game with a three and a half game lead in the Big South Conference standings over High Point and Winthrop. As a result, the Lady Flames can wrap up the Big South regular-season title and the No. 1 seed for the Big South Women's Basketball Championship with a victory over Gardner-Webb. If Liberty is able to do so, it would be the Lady Flames' second Big South regular-season championship in a row and the 13th in the last 15 years.
3) Saturday's contest will be a rematch of the last three Big South Championship title games. Gardner-Webb needs to finish the season well if it hopes to reach the title tilt again this season, as the Runnin' Bulldogs are one game behind UNC Asheville for the eighth and final qualifying position for the Big South Championship.
4) Liberty and Gardner-Webb have traditionally played very competitive games with one another, as six of the teams' 10 head-to-head contests have been decided by five points or fewer.
5) Avery Warley has performed well against Gardner-Webb during her career, notching six double-doubles versus the Runnin' Bulldogs. She has recorded a double-double in four consecutive meetings against Gardner-Webb.
Liberty vs. Gardner-Webb At a Glance
Series Record: Liberty leads, 7-3.
Current Streak: Liberty won the most recent meeting.
Gardner-Webb's Last Victory: Gardner-Webb 67, Liberty 66 (March 13, 2011 at HPU)
Series Record at Liberty: Liberty leads, 2-1.
Current Streak at Liberty: Liberty won the most recent meeting.
Gardner-Webb's Last Victory at Liberty: Gardner-Webb 59, Liberty 56 (Feb. 8, 2010)
Last Meeting: Liberty 78, Gardner-Webb 51 (Jan. 30, 2012 at Gardner-Webb)
Last Meeting at Liberty: Liberty 56, Gardner-Webb 51 (Feb. 12, 2011)
Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 304-102 (13th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Gardner-Webb: 7-3
Gardner-Webb Head Coach: Rick Reeves
Overall Record (Seasons): 388-360 (26th Season)
Record at Gardner-Webb (Seasons): 121-122 (Eighth Season)
Record vs. Liberty: 3-7
Notes and Anecdotes
-- Liberty and Gardner-Webb have squared off in each of the last three Big South Championship title games, but that streak is in jeopardy this season. With four games remaining, the Runnin' Bulldogs are one game behind UNC Asheville for the eighth and final qualifying position for this year's Big South Championship.
-- The Lady Flames' 27-point victory at Gardner-Webb on Jan. 30 was uncharacteristic for this competitive head-to-head series. Six of the teams' 10 all-time matchups have been decided by five or fewer points.
-- Gardner-Webb has struggled away from Paul Porter Arena this season, going just 1-14 in road and neutral contests. The Runnin' Bulldogs have lost eight straight road games, all by 10 points or more.
-- Gardner-Webb head coach Rick Reeves served as head coach at Liberty for nine seasons (1990-91 through 1998-99), guiding the Lady Flames to 136 victories and three Big South Conference titles.
-- Avery Warley, who will be honored during Saturday's Senior Day festivities, has traditionally played well against Gardner-Webb during her career. She has notched six double-doubles versus the Runnin' Bulldogs, including one in each of her last four matchups against Gardner-Webb. During the teams' Jan. 30 meeting, Warley finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots in just 23 minutes of action.
Salute to the Seniors
-- Prior to tipoff on Saturday, Liberty's senior duo of Danika Dale and Avery Warley will be recognized. During their four years on the team, the Lady Flames are 91-34 and have made a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances.
-- Dale has played 116 games in a Liberty uniform. She ranks No. 39 in program history with 371 career rebounds and needs just 33 more points to reach the 500 mark.
-- Warley has started all 125 games she has played at Liberty and owns the Liberty and Big South career rebounding records with 1,194 boards. She also ranks No. 3 at Liberty with 154 blocked shots and No. 5 with 1,367 points.
What's at Stake
-- With its next victory, Liberty can clinch its second straight Big South regular-season title and the No. 1 seed for the 2012 Big South Women's Basketball Championship.
A Look Back at Liberty's Win at Presbyterian College on Monday
-- Liberty bounced back from its loss at Winthrop to post a 69-64 victory at Presbyterian College on Monday.
-- The Lady Flames, who have still not lost back-to-back Big South games since February 1997, snapped PC's four-game winning streak. Liberty also improved to 9-0 all-time against the Blue Hose.
-- Liberty, which erased a six-point second-half deficit, is now 1-4 in games decided by five or fewer points this season.
-- Free throw shooting was key for the Lady Flames, who ended the game at a season-best 82.8 percent (24-of-29) from the line. During the second half, Liberty made 87 percent (20-of-23) of its free throws.
-- The Lady Flames won the rebounding battle for the 25th time in 26 games this year (37-21) and held their 48th straight opponent to below 50 percent field goal shooting (Presbyterian College ended up at 44.9 percent).
-- Liberty's 69 points were the most any team has scored against the Blue Hose since Jan. 7, when Winthrop tallied 70 points in a win over PC.
-- Devon Brown led all players in both points (27) and rebounds (11), equaling her season high in both categories. She scored 20 of her 27 points after halftime, marking the second time in her career that the redshirt junior has notched a 20-point half. Brown made 9-of-10 free throws, improving to 27-of-29 from the line during the last three games.
-- Reagan Miller scored eight of her 13 points after halftime and added a game-high five assists. She made both of her three-pointers and 5-of-6 free throw attempts, including a 4-of-4 performance from the line during the final minute and a half.
-- Avery Warley was limited to 21 minutes by foul trouble, but nearly recorded a double-double with 11 points and eight rebounds.
-- For the second week in a row and the third time this season, Liberty point guard Reagan Miller has been honored as Big South Freshman of the Week.
-- Miller is the first Liberty rookie since Jelena Antic in 2009-10 to win back-to-back Freshman of the Week awards and three honors during a single season.
Breaking Down Brown
-- On Feb. 18 at Winthrop, Devon Brown finished with 11 rebounds and a career-high eight assists, becoming the first Lady Flame since Sarah Wilkerson on Feb. 6, 1999 against Charleston Southern to tally double-digit rebounds and at least eight assists during the same game.
-- On Monday at Presbyterian College, Brown scored 20 of her season-high-equaling 27 points during the second half. It was the second 20-point half of her career, after Brown posted 21 second-half points at Longwood on Jan. 14, 2011.
Keeping Good Company
-- Liberty Head Coach Carey Green's squads have traditionally rebounded well and played strong defense. This year's edition of the Lady Flames is no different, as the team ranks No. 1 nationally in rebound margin (+15.4) and No. 7 in field goal percentage defense (.337).
-- Only three other teams in the nation rank in the top 10 in both of those categories, No. 1 Baylor, No. 4 Connecticut and West Virginia.
-- With Saturday being Senior Day, we will take a look back at the first game of both Avery Warley and Danika Dale's career as Lady Flames.
-- Warley made her debut Nov. 14, 2008 at the Vines Center, during Liberty's 59-57 setback to VCU in the opening round of the Preseason WNIT. Warley posted seven points and four rebounds. Her free throw with 6.4 seconds remaining gave Liberty a 57-56 lead.
-- Dale appeared in her first game eight days later, contributing a rebound and a steal off the bench in a 73-53 Preseason WNIT loss at Western Carolina.